Designer Benjamin Hubert has recently rebranded his previously self-titled studio under the new name Layer, reflecting a shift towards more human-focussed design. The London-based designer has expressed a sense of disenchantment with the current climate of furniture and lighting design with thousands of products launched each year, but no real meaningful innovation. “Everyone involved in creating lighting, furniture and accessories… they’re all talented people but everyone seems to be designing the same thing.
Hubert has also presented some interesting reflections on the business climate of the furniture design sector.”You get paid sometimes in furniture but more often you’re working for a very low royalty on products that don’t sell as well as before… You’re expected to do a year or two’s work on a product, then wait a year or two for it to be established in the market, and then eventually, unless you get very lucky and get a bestseller, you’ll get a very average royalty from it.”
The rebranding decision is best reflected in Layer’s work on a new collection box for UK cancer charity Maggie’s. The design is more friendly and personal than the generic boxes used by most charities and fulfils Hubert’s belief that designers have a responsibility to do meaningful work.